How Effective Are Unarmed Security Guards?

If you’ve been looking for a way to ensure the safety of your business, you’ve probably considered hiring a private security service. However, you may be wondering if an unarmed or armed security officer would better meet your needs. At GoJoe Patrol, we have both unarmed and armed security officers who are trained to protect your home or business. Here are some things to consider in deciding whether an unarmed officer will be sufficient to meet your security needs.

Unarmed: Not the Same As Unprepared

Just because your unarmed officer doesn’t carry a firearm doesn’t mean the officer will be unprepared to handle potentially dangerous situations. Our unarmed officers complete extensive training that makes them highly competent at conflict de-escalation and managing high-stake situations. In many of these situations, an officer’s verbal skills are the most effective tool.

When it comes to deterring crime and making your customers feel more secure, any type of security officer is a valuable asset to your business. Not only does the presence of a patrol officer encourage would-be criminals to move on to an easier target, but having an officer on-site is also beneficial when handling troublesome interactions and situations that aren’t necessarily dangerous but might be beyond your staff’s capabilities. 

While all of your staff should take note of any theft, vandalism, or security risks, the fact is, that is not what you hired them to do. Your security officer can focus solely on security, looking for threats and keeping an eye on vulnerabilities. People who are troublesome are more likely to listen to and obey a uniformed guard than an employee. If any situation does get out of hand, your security officer will know when to call in law enforcement or emergency services, and can act as the point of contact with these agencies. Because security officers are trained in making observations and knowing the laws, they know the information that these officials need.

If you have a business that is patronized by families or where lots of children are present, unarmed security can be better than armed security, as sometimes the presence of firearms can make customers uncomfortable. Guns can sometimes scare children or make parents nervous, even in the hands of “the good guys.” The presence of an armed guard can also make them suspicious of whether the business is under some kind of threat or is more at risk of violence than they believed. If an armed officer is likely to keep your patrons away, an unarmed officer is a better choice.

Other Things to Consider in Deciding “Armed” or “Unarmed”

Type of Business: Unarmed security is best-suited to businesses considered low-risk for crime. This includes family restaurants, museums, art galleries, hair salons, coffee shops, and the like. These types of businesses generally do not have expensive items or equipment on site that can easily be grabbed, and they generally do not have a lot of cash on hand.  Armed officers are most commonly used in businesses where large amounts of money may be found, such as a bank, or businesses that sell expensive items like jewelry. Armed guards may also be warranted for businesses such as bars, where the proprietors want to discourage violent or reckless behavior. 

Business Location: The location of your business will also come into play. If your business is in a high-crime area, an armed officer will probably be warranted. An armed officer is a significant deterrent to anyone looking to cause trouble. Unlike in low-crime areas, in these situations, the additional level of safety provided by the presence of an armed officer can enhance your business’s bottom line. Patrons who are aware of and worried about crime risks will know that they are safe while shopping in your establishment, and employees will know they are safe while working there. 

Budget: While you can’t put a price on the safety of your employees and customers, you also want to use your security budget wisely. Since armed security services are more expensive, you’ll want to ensure your business truly needs an armed guard before hiring one. You should also bear in mind that having an armed guard on the premises may require you to upgrade your liability insurance, depending on the scope of your current policy.

If you still have questions about what would be best for your business, our team welcomes the opportunity to discuss your needs and offer you a personalized recommendation. Contact GoJoe Patrol today and let our helpful team members address your safety concerns.

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